According to Florida Policy Institute, “on average, 70 to 80 percent of incarcerated youth are rearrested within three years, often committing worse crimes." If we want to make a difference in the lives of these young people, and lower crime rates overall, funding interventions that equip young people to make better decisions is certainly a positive investment.
Since the very beginning of the NSCF's community chess effort in Broward County, we have worked to serve young people in the juvenile justice system. We teach in a school serving young people on probation, and in the Detention Center. These programs are funded by grants and run year-round. (Our students don't get vacations.)
One program we are particularly proud of teaches chess to young offenders from all over Florida at two treatment centers. In addition to teaching at both centers every Friday morning, periodically we get to host a tournament where top players from each facility (shown below) get to test their skills with the top team bringing the "challenge trophy" back to their center!
One grant we had for two prior years, we did not receive for the current fiscal year. This has left us $6,100.00 short for just the treatment centers. We have had great successes at these facilities for over 3.5 years. One site's assistant director shared how much "quieter" the facility had become since we started teaching chess and gave them extra sets for the common areas. "It is quite common to see boys sitting at the back of the room playing for hours in their free time," she said. "I wish you would come to our other centers."
We'd love to come to their other centers across the country, but for now our goal is to keep the current programs operating and viable. Your financial support will help us teach critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that can help these young men make better decisions in life... We are looking for larger grants, but in the meantime, maybe smaller contributions will help fill the gap. Please join us in this very valuable work.